From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown (Berea, KY)

African Americans were able to buy land in the Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown communities after the Civil War. This change was in part because of  the influence of Rev. John G. Fee.

Farristown was founded in 1835, named for the Farris families that lived in the area. Middletown is so named because it is about midway between Farristown and Berea. Bobtown is the oldest of the three communities, originally founded around 1769, when it was called Joe Lick. The name was changed around 1872 in honor of African American resident Uncle Bob Fitch.

Each of the communities had an African American church: First Baptist Church in Middletown was organized in 1894, Farristown Baptist Church in 1883, and New Liberty Baptist Church in Bobtown in 1866.

For more information and photos see Early History of Black Berea, by Berea College; or contact the Berea College Library.

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Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Blythe, Robert Henry Clay Mitchell
NKAA Entry: Middletown Consolidated School, Berea, KY

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown (Berea, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-05-30 17:21:50